Seiyashi

Asanoyama caught violating COVID restrictions

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20 minutes ago, ryafuji said:

mere suspension.

A suspension may not be "mere" because its duration is effectively 2x or worse depending on the performance of the suspendee after his return. You need a zensho basho to cancel every basho's worth of suspension, which may be ok for sekitori in the unpaid ranks but definitely not guaranteed in the makushita joi and above, so functionally you're looking at X bashos forcibly out and then 1.5+*X basho to get back to where you were. So 3 bashos out means Abi takes a year to get back to the joi if he wins all the way; 6 basho out effectively means 2 years in the wilderness for Asanoyama.

I do recall vaguely during Abi's suspension that an authority figure (might have been the board, might have been Shikoroyama) said that if Abi was genuine about reforming, he would serve his suspension and still continue to do sumo and come back stronger, showing his repentance through good sumo. That's arguably as applicable to ozeki as lower ranks, albeit with a higher degree of repentance needed to be shown.

As it is some people are seeing this as way too cruel and would rather he go intai. I could see how a suspension can be heavy enough to really hurt, especially if it winds up dropping Asanoyama below his Sd100TD entry into sumo, but on the other hand I agree that intai probably sends the best message overall. That's unless the NSK is suddenly blessed with a fit of creative decision-making and can find a third option out.

Edited by Seiyashi

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1 minute ago, Seiyashi said:

A suspension may not be "mere" because its duration is effectively 2x or worse depending on the performance of the suspendee after his return. You need a zensho basho to cancel every basho's worth of suspension, which may be ok for sekitori in the unpaid ranks but definitely not guaranteed in the makushita joi and above, so functionally you're looking at X bashos forcibly out and then 1.5+*X basho to get back to where you were. So 3 bashos out means Abi takes a year to get back to the joi if he wins all the way; 6 basho out effectively means 2 years in the wilderness for Asanoyama.

As it is some people are seeing this as way too cruel and would rather he go intai. I could see how a suspension can be heavy enough to really hurt, especially if it winds up dropping Asanoyama below his Sd100TD entry into sumo, but on the other hand I agree that intai probably sends the best message overall. That's unless the NSK is suddenly blessed with a fit of creative decision-making and can find a third option out.

Forced shikona change to bakanoyama?

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14 minutes ago, Tsuchinoninjin said:

Forced shikona change to bakanoyama?

It's interesting you mention that because shikona changes have been used before to send a message; John Gunning has that anecdote about Moriurara. 

A really salient reminder would be to change his shikona to something incorporating characters from Shobushi's. Keeping it on his conscience, as it were. But it's quite far out; I can see it being done if he were from Takadagawa, but it's just out of left field for a Takasago man.

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1 hour ago, Kamitsuumi said:

After the Yaocho scandal broke both Enatsukasa and Chiyohakuho received two year suspensions. Both had already handed in intai papers, and initially the kyokai put those on hold, but eventually accepted them for Chiyohakuho, and for Enatsukasa after he resubmitted. 

They had an actual investigation committee chaired by one of the external directors for that one, though. I don't think that's really comparable to what's going on right now.

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It's really amazing how this just keeps on happening, again and again. The fact that there keep on being new coronavirus protocol violations despite multiple people having been caught doing this really makes me wonder how many more violations go on that we never find out about.

I made a quick list of all the instances I could recall:

  • 2021-05-20 - Sumo wrestler Asanoyama pulls out of the Natsu 2021 basho due to having violated coronavirus restrictions by secretly visiting a hostess club during the pre-basho quarantine period. He initially lied about the allegations but later came clean.
  • 2021-05-07 - Ryuden is forced to sit out the Natsu 2021 basho due to (currently) unspecified coronavirus protocol violations.
  • 2021-02-22 - Stablemaster Tokitsukaze is asked to retire for violating coronavirus protocol by visiting a mahjong parlor during the Hatsu 2021 basho. He was previously demoted in rank for playing golf during the Aki 2020 basho coronavirus quarantine period.
  • 2020-09-12 - Stablemaster Matsugane is suspended for having violated coronavirus guidelines—he actually traveled to another prefecture after getting a positive PCR test following the July basho even after being told to quarantine for two weeks. He gets a reprimand.
  • 2020-07-29 - Stablemaster Tagonoura is photographed dead drunk in a restaurant. When asked if it was during the July 2020 basho, he claims he "doesn't know". In other words, it might well have been. The exact date is never determined. He receives a reprimand.
  • 2020-07-25 - Sumo wrestler Abi found to have dined out during the July 2020 basho in violation of coronavirus restrictions. He lied about the amount of times he went out during the investigation, conspiring with another rikishi to keep a lid on it—the NSK called his attitude "malicious".

If there are any I've forgotten about please let me know.

I know the question of his potential punishment has already been discussed to death, but I do kind of wonder if maybe the NSK might be swayed to be lenient in his case because the coronavirus vaccination campaign is currently ramping up in Japan—basically, the idea being that since the pandemic is now finally on its way to being put under control, and maybe in another half year or so we might even be able to do away with the concept of quarantine altogether, so let's just let him keep his head until we can put this whole pandemic behind us.

Not that I think that's very likely. I think his career probably won't survive this transgression, especially since he lied about it, and the quarantine will probably continue for a while longer anyway. But... who knows, they might be actively looking for rationalizations to not have to kick out one of the most promising Japanese wrestlers.

Edited by dada78641
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24 minutes ago, dada78641 said:

It's really amazing how this just keeps on happening, again and again. The fact that there keep on being new coronavirus protocol violations despite multiple people having been caught doing this really makes me wonder how many more violations go on that we never find out about.

I made a quick list of all the instances I could recall:

  • 2021-05-20 - Sumo wrestler Asanoyama pulls out of the Natsu 2021 basho due to having violated coronavirus restrictions by secretly visiting a hostess club during the pre-basho quarantine period. He initially lied about the allegations but later came clean.
  • 2021-05-07 - Ryuden is forced to sit out the Natsu 2021 basho due to (currently) unspecified coronavirus protocol violations.
  • 2021-02-22 - Stablemaster Tokitsukaze is asked to retire for violating coronavirus protocol by visiting a mahjong parlor during the Hatsu 2021 basho. He was previously demoted in rank for playing golf during the Aki 2020 basho coronavirus quarantine period.
  • 2020-09-12 - Stablemaster Matsugane is suspended for having violated coronavirus guidelines—he actually traveled to another prefecture after getting a positive PCR test following the July basho even after being told to quarantine for two weeks. He gets a reprimand.
  • 2020-07-29 - Stablemaster Tagonoura is photographed dead drunk in a restaurant. When asked if it was during the July 2020 basho, he claims he "doesn't know". In other words, it might well have been. The exact date is never determined. He receives a reprimand.
  • 2020-07-25 - Sumo wrestler Abi found to have dined out during the July 2020 basho in violation of coronavirus restrictions. He lied about the amount of times he went out during the investigation, conspiring with another rikishi to keep a lid on it—the NSK called his attitude "malicious".

If there are any I've forgotten about please let me know.

I know the question of his potential punishment has already been discussed to death, but I do kind of wonder if maybe the NSK might be swayed to be lenient in his case because the coronavirus vaccination campaign is currently ramping up in Japan—basically, the idea being that since the pandemic is now finally on its way to being put under control, and maybe in another half year or so we might even be able to do away with the concept of quarantine altogether, so let's just let him keep his head until we can put this whole pandemic behind us.

Not that I think that's very likely. I think his career probably won't survive this transgression, especially since he lied about it, and the quarantine will probably continue for a while longer anyway. But... who knows, they might be actively looking for rationalizations to not have to kick out one of the most promising Japanese wrestlers.

Wow didn‘t know the story about Matsugane, pretty tough stuff. Interesting that they didn‘t force him to retire, it‘s at least in my opinion by far the most unresponsibile behaviour of the mentioned above.

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On 20/05/2021 at 14:53, Seiyashi said:

I wonder if that random chap was the one who tipped off the NSK about this whole affair a day before it broke. I still can't figure out why Asanoyama would have been questioned on the 18th, when the article was released on the 19th, unless Shibatayama and Oguruma had gotten wind of it somehow.

And the question if they did is; why? Was someone trying to do Asanoyama or the NSK a solid by giving them a chance to settle this and take the force of the tabloid article away? If he was that friendly to/with Asanoyama, why not go straight to Takasago in that event and let him do for Asanoyama what Shikoroyama did for Abi, especially as an action like that was not unprecedented? Or was Takasago in on all this to begin with, even as a passive bystander (i.e. he can't control Asanoyama)? This mysterious pre-scandal questioning is really quite perplexing.

Gosh darn it. The online article from Bunshun mentions disclosing the random chap's relationship to Asanoyama in the print and electronic edition. I'm not about to shell to read filth, but now my curiosity's piqued.

EDIT: Or it could just be the tabloid itself asking for comments before they go to press. I need to go out and buy a new pack of razors, brand Occam.

I'm not familiar with how the media works in Japan, but in Western countries, it's obvious that before publishing an article that says "Mr. X did this dishonest thing", the media is ethically obliged to ask for a reaction from the person implicated in the article.

So the tabloid certainly contacted Asanoyama before, and then in the aftermath maybe the NSK and its heya?

Of course, there is no obligation for them to detail the information they had. Asanoyama probably thought there was a slim chance that they had nothing solid and denied it...

Edited by serge_gva

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2 hours ago, Tsuchinoninjin said:

6 basho out effectively means 2 years in the wilderness for Asanoyama.

Maybe two years to be back to ozeki, but only 5 to 6 bashos to be back to makuuchi. 

Most probably forced to sit out 4 bashos for him to re-start from upper Makushita, which means 3 bashos to be back to makuuchi.

Edited by Dapeng

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6 hours ago, robnplunder said:

I can't help notice there are about 5000 people crowded in the hall.   No 6 feet apart rule in effect.  Everyone wearing what appears to be a single surgical mask.  Japan is in no way near herd immunity at the current vaccination rate.  To me, it's a bit hypocritical for Asanoyama to be harshly punished when the sumo powers to be are allowing these things to happen all for the revenue. 

But he is not going to be punished for violating a rule... he is going to be punished because when asked about it, he lied to his superiors who then got embarrassed because of his lies.

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6 minutes ago, Ripe said:

But he is not going to be punished for violating a rule... he is going to be punished because when asked about it, he lied to his superiors who then got embarrassed because of his lies.

He was being questioned about breaking rules. The Kyokai has rules in place regarding COVID that he broke. He would have been punished regardless of lying, he just compounded his trouble by lying about it. This would not have been a potential career-ender if he'd just told the truth.

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3 minutes ago, Churaumi said:

He was being questioned about breaking rules. The Kyokai has rules in place regarding COVID that he broke. He would have been punished regardless of lying, he just compounded his trouble by lying about it. This would not have been a potential career-ender if he'd just told the truth.

Oh yes, he would be punished no matter what, but as you said, lying makes is potentially career-ending.

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3 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

It's interesting you mention that because shikona changes have been used before to send a message; John Gunning has that anecdote about Moriurara

A really salient reminder would be to change his shikona to something incorporating characters from Shobushi's. Keeping it on his conscience, as it were. But it's quite far out; I can see it being done if he were from Takadagawa, but it's just out of left field for a Takasago man.

What's the Moirurara story? I can't seem to find it in the search. :-(

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If he gets a suspension of 4+ basho and returns to his career as a rikishi after that, I advise all of you to buy shares in my local steakhouse.

Edited by Atenzan

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9 minutes ago, Jomangor said:

What's the Moirurara story? I can't seem to find it in the search. :-(

All I remember is that notoriously unsuccessful Morikawa changed his shikona for better luck, and apparently it worked like a charm. (Way better than for Hattorizakura...)

Was that change forced by the shisho as some kind of ultimatum?

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15 minutes ago, Jakusotsu said:
30 minutes ago, Jomangor said:

What's the Moirurara story? I can't seem to find it in the search. :-(

All I remember is that notoriously unsuccessful Morikawa changed his shikona for better luck, and apparently it worked like a charm. (Way better than for Hattorizakura...)

Was that change forced by the shisho as some kind of ultimatum?

 

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21 minutes ago, Jakusotsu said:

... apparently it worked like a charm. ...

Was that change forced by the shisho as some kind of ultimatum?

Two kachikoshi in the next 2 years.  He should have tried another charm.  ;-)  It was by the shisho, but it was meant as a joke.  Moriurara was taken from the name of a horse who had not won a race for many years.

Edited by Asojima

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Asanoyama was summoned to the Kyokai headquarters today and was questioned ahead of the rijikai that will be held soon. The investigation is moving forward quickly, said someone who knows. If he gets a suspension, this will mean he will lose his Ozeki rank, he explained. No talk of retirement.

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1 hour ago, Atenzan said:

If he gets a suspension of 4+ basho and returns to his career as a rikishi after that, I advise all of you to buy shares in my local steakhouse.

Won't happen.

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2 hours ago, Dapeng said:

Maybe two years to be back to ozeki, but only 5 to 6 bashos to be back to makuuchi. 

Most probably forced to sit out 4 bashos for him to re-start from upper Makushita, which means 3 bashos to be back to makuuchi.

Assuming he can deal with this mentally.

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FWIW, Terunofuji fought his way back from roughly the equivalent of an 8 basho layoff.  Not the same guy, but Asanoyama may have the wherewithal to come back from a 3-4 basho drop.  I don't think he will get his ozeki back, and that might be his downfall/decision maker.  Fighting his way back to mid-makuuchi or better would let him stay in the kyokai if that is his option.

 

Edited by Asojima

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1 hour ago, Atenzan said:

If he gets a suspension of 4+ basho and returns to his career as a rikishi after that, I advise all of you to buy shares in my local steakhouse.

I always want to see the difference between the power of a yokozuna and the power of a common Makushita or lower when they fight a real one. Now there's a chance to see it.

Fuji-the-Terrible re-started from Jonidan but he was still recovering from his injury. Now Asanoyama has the power of a common yokozuna without injury. Will the NSK forbid him from using certain risky skills to protect his Makushita opponents from being wounded? 

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Maybe the YDC should meet and issue an opinion here on a key issue.  If Asanoyama endures a lengthy suspension and a more lengthy road back to Makuuchi and somehow emerges better than before and re-reaches Ozeki, is this episode enough to permanently disqualify him from being considered for Yokozuna status?  Because if so, what’s the point?  He’s already reached Ozeki and will be remembered (after the circumstances of his intai, if that’s where this goes) for that rank.  It’s a slim chance for Asanoyama to get back from Juryo or lower to Ozeki or beyond, but it’s that faint hope that sustains many.  If the powers that be come up with a ruling that allows Asanoyama to continue after a suspension and loss of rank, that’s fine, but if there is no faint hope at all of any possibility of getting any further than he is now, as a third, unwritten, part of the penalty, that may leave no choice.

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Possible restart points for Asanoyama:

3 basho ban: juryo 5

4 basho ban: makushita 5

5 basho ban: makushita 45

6 basho ban: sandanme 25

Intai: find a use for that Economics degree.

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His choice (if available) is whether to bail out or to stay in a salaried status until retirement and then join the kyokai.  Ozekihood would be icing on the cake, but not necessary.  He has already been there.

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Does anyone here know if any scandal-ridden rikishi have become oyakata lately? I guess Arashio oyakata might count.

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